Participation Age Practices: DEG Invites Everyone to Start Something
Stakeholders as Entrepreneurs
Most companies are mired in the front-office business practices of the Industrial Age. But the Participation Age is a tidal wave breaking over the workplace. How are P-Age companies different? Here’s another example:
We Dig DEG
DEG in Overland Park, Kansas have developed Participation Age Stakeholders, people who can make decisions, take ownership, innovate, and are even encouraged to create entirely new products and services.
Neal Sharma, CEO of DEG, a $20 million digital marketing company with 140 Stakeholders – http://www.degdigital.com/about/, wants everyone to be creating. If you think there is a service the company should add, and they agree, you don’t just get credit for the idea, you’ll end up being the one who builds it.
Let’s Try That
Cara Olson was a Web Strategist who thought the company should expand into email marketing. Sharma told her to go for it. Cara put together a plan and found clients, and today, email marketing at DEG is a $9 million product line, almost half of the company’s revenue. Other Stakeholders followed suit, building social media, copywriting, and other revenue streams and services.
Not all of them succeed – as with any entrepreneurial initiative. But Neal Sharma and DEG understand the value of having people bring the whole, creative person to work, and the company has grown exponentially as a result.
Stakeholders Dig DEG, Too
Following are things the Stakeholders say about DEG as a result of being treated like adults who have great ideas:
– “Our voice is always heard. In our culture, the best idea wins no matter where it comes from.”
– “We have a career lattice instead of a traditional career ladder, which translates to a high degree of internal mobility for us.”
– “If there is something you’re interested in doing and you think there is a market for it, they want you to make the case and go do it. That’s pretty much the story of how we’ve grown.”
– “Everyone receives credit for their work and contributions. We don’t like to have our heroes unsung.”
– “We are given autonomy and the opportunity to make meaningful decisions that affect our business and our clients.”
– “In addition to coffee, our awesome coffeehouse has flat screen TVs, an Xbox, and a fridge full of soda, juice, and more.”
– “Beer:30. How have I not mentioned this yet?”
Participation Age Stakeholders are empowered and encouraged to create, innovate, and take charge. Most importantly, whenever possible, decisions are made by those will have to carry them out. Why would they be made at any other level? DEG gets it, and as a result, they are growing fast and creating a workplace that was voted at the top of best places to work in Kansas City.
Read 124 Reasons to work at DEG – http://bit.ly/1jTSl1t
and some other great quotes by DEG Stakeholders here – http://bit.ly/1hTwz9b*
Don’t Settle – Find One Yourself
Companies of every size, in every industry, are embracing the Participation Age to be more successful. If you are a Stakeholder and want to Make Meaning, not just money, leave your Industrial Age company and go find one (see other examples on this blog). If you want to prepare to do that, or even build one yourself, read “Why Employees Are Always a Bad Idea” – http://amzn.to/1n4l1rB